Economic development seen as top priority for Duffy
Forty-six percent of RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll respondents say that compared with a year ago, the overall state of the city of Rochester is better.
Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy Monday evening delivered his 2008 State of the City address. He gave a progress report on areas such as public safety, economic development and education, and outlined a reorganization of city services in response to a more than $17 million budget shortfall.
In this week’s poll, 30 percent of respondents said that compared with a year ago, the state of the city is unchanged, and 24 percent thought the overall state of the city is worse. When the same questions were asked in March 2007, 40 percent thought the state of the city was better, 17 percent said worse and 43 percent answered unchanged.
In terms of priorities, respondents’ answers were very similar to a year ago. Half the poll participants said economic development should be Duffy’s No. 1 priority this year. Twenty-six percent said public safety should be the priority, while 14 percent answered more state aid, and 11 percent selected education.
In March 2007, 54 percent chose economic development as Duffy’s No. 1 priority; 26 percent answered public safety, 12 percent said fiscal management/obtaining more state aid, and 8 percent said education.
Roughly 540 took part in the new poll, conducted April 7 and 8.
Compared with one year ago, how would you describe the overall state of the city of Rochester?
What should Mayor Duffy make his No. 1 priority this year?
Economic development: 50%
Public safety: 26%
Fiscal management/obtaining more state aid: 14%
The city should look at a comprehensive plan that will address the poverty, crime, and high school dropout rate, as it is plain to see that they are all connected.
-John Stevens, ICM
Mayor Duffy needs to make Rochester safer. If he doesn’t, Paetec and ESL may face the same fate as Midtown Plaza and the fast ferry. A safer city will catch the imagination driving the new city schools plan and the recent surge in downtown development. Better safe than sorry goes for cities, too.
-Clifford Jacobson, WebHomeUSA
(Downtown has) some good pockets, but far too many abandoned and boarded-up buildings! A Dollar Store? It could be so much different! What is the draw to go downtown? And we have a river and waterfall right in the center of downtown. It has to change from ugly to cool. More high-end restaurants, big-name stores and unique shops. Not just bars for the college kids!
-Steve Mizzoni, Netsville Inc.
The city has been and will continue to get worse until Mayor Duffy quits talking and starts acting. It takes a dummy to talk, but a real leader to actually do it. It makes me that much happier that I moved out of the city and into Chili last year.
-John Waudby, Chili
Public safety is key, and education is inextricably linked to this. We must give our kids something to say yes to, so they can say no to dangerous distractions.
-Kate Bennett, Rochester Museum & Science Center
Public safety is a very broad term and has to be addressed first. The city needs to be a desirable place to live, work, invest. People will not be drawn to downtown if they think they’re going to get shot! At this point, I would not buy another piece of property in the city.
-Timothy M. Culver, president, Hawver Display
04/11/08 (C) Rochester Business Journal